How Breastfeeding Can Affect The Look And Feel Of Nipples

By Collie Lane, Parent Herald December 01, 09:13 am
Crystal Mauras breastfeeds her 2-month-old son, Christopher Rhodes Jr, outside City Hall during a ralley to support breastfeeding in public in New York City.
(Photo : Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Experts say breast milk is good for babies. That's why 77 percent of new moms are breastfeeding their newborns, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, even though parents want to provide their newborns the finest start that they can, they cannot help but be worried.

So, how will breastfeeding affect their nipples? Knowing how nursing will affect nipples can save breastfeeding parents lots of worries over the look and feel of their boobs.

Several women fret that if they breastfed, their boobs will become unattractive and sag, and their nipples become dark and so bumpy. The truth is life itself affects the look and feel of breasts. Weight loss or gain, age, pregnancy and yes, breastfeeding will affect nipples.

There three ways that breastfeeding can affect the nipples of a nursing mom. To help lessen the worries, here are three ways nursing affect nipples:

First, breastfeeding can make nipples cracked and sore. Sore, cracked or tender nipples are just common battle injuries of newbie breastfeeding moms, affecting 10 percent of nursing moms according to Australian Breastfeeding Association.

What To Expect has learned that improper position during breastfeeding causes soreness to nipples. And even though breastfeeding is painful for moms, sore nipples will not affect the baby.

Second, breastfeeding can cause breast infections. Mastitis affects most nursing women and might be caused when nipples become sore and cracked, letting bacteria from the mouth of the baby to go into the breast. According to a study published in American Family Physician, this breast infection has affected 10 percent of nursing moms in the United States.

Lastly, nursing can stretch nipples. Medela Moments reported that pumping breastmilk can cause pain, irritation and elongated nipples. However, nipples are unique but few might experience changes in size or shape of nipples while others might not experience any problems at all. Breastfeeding moms with inverted or flat nipples can have stretched nipples when their babies suck the nipples forcefully.

Some breastfeeding moms never suffer any pain in their nipples at all, however, many studies reveal that majority of nursing moms in the United States suffer nipple pains at the start of their breastfeeding. Though painful, American Academy of Pediatric strongly suggests breastfeeding up to at least 12 months or for as long as the mom and child desire.

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